Child’s Play

Cuento de Luz. May 2020. 28p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9788416733767.
PreS-Gr 2–Three siblings excel at different art forms. Bespectacled Danny plays the guitar, bob-haired Molly paints, and curly-haired Marcus is a writer. They express emotions through their crafts, though they are not appreciated or understood by their parents and teachers. Due to civil unrest and economic downturn in their Argentinian town, the family must emigrate. Though at first the siblings are frightened, through their art they realize that “home is where the heart is, and the family.” The illustrations convey most of the events; the text never explicitly explains why the children are moving. Millán depicts the children’s art and dreams as plants: music as leaves, painting as flowers, and words as intricately folded paper blossoms. Although the illustrations are detailed and compelling, the story shifts gears abruptly from one about children who are “in their own little worlds” to a tale about immigration. Because of this, the result is not especially memorable.
VERDICT A somewhat disjointed story about creativity and perseverance, helped along by engaging illustrations.

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